Christine Borland - Set Conversation Pieces, Detail, Convolvulus

Hand painted bone china, 1998. Courtesy the artist.

Set Conversation Pieces, Detail, Convolvulus

Hand painted bone china, 1998. Courtesy the artist.

Highly charged both emotionally and politically, these works by Turner Prize nominee Borland are aptly made of bone china and decorated with the early blue and white Oriental patterns so prized two centuries ago. These precious items were imported to England by ships that were also often implicated in the slave trade, the porcelain cargo exchanged for boatloads of slaves. Here in place of the delicate cup and saucer, a little skull is placed within a pelvis, in a delivery position. Borland cast pelvises and foetal skulls from obstetric models. Her concerns are plain - birth, fragility, female stereotyping and commodification of goods and humans.

Christine Borland

Christine Borland was born in Darvel, Ayrshire and studied at Glasgow School of Art and the University of Ulster, Belfast. Her work has often involved collaboration with non-art related institutions, exploring areas such as forensic science, the history of medicine, medical ethics and human genetics. Borland frequently asks us to consider the fragility of human life and the way in which it is valued by social systems and institutions. She works with a variety of materials, including glass, china, fabric and bronze. Borland was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997. She lives and works in Kilcreggan, Argyll.